I slept in a bit but I felt pretty good this morning so I decided I would go ahead and go to Myokensan and Myokensan Temple in Kawanishi, where I used to live. That’s kind of misleading, because Kawanishi is huge and Myokensan (the mountain) is way up in the hills. In fact, you have to take the Nose Railway which looks like the Hankyu railway but is a subsidiary and requires you to find the right button on the ticket machine (all in Japanese) to buy a ¥580 ticket from Umeda. I even read that Noseden was intially created to make the trip to the Myokensan Temple easier.
In fact, we went by the golf practice area my not-really-my-uncle took me. So that means right behind that apartment on the right is where his prize-winning garden used to be.
A lot of it is a single track through the mountains, but it’s the area I used to ride my racing bicycle 20+ years ago.
Te end of the line is Myokenguchi where you get off and start walking for the cable car.
There’s a short path through the “town” where there’s one restaurant but not much else.
There was a small shrine and, of course, I took a picture.
On the map there was a shrine on the way, and there’s even a stone marker at the side of the road.
But seriously, it’s in the middle of nowhere.
And just past this farmhouse.
I’m not sure about Yoshikawa Yahata Jinja, but it was closed up.
You could see inside, and there was an old shrine inside.
Continuing on, I saw a coin rice milling machine. I still haven’t seen any magazine vending machines, though.
Very close to the ropeway I saw another gate. I think it might be abandoned.
Of course, it’s 10/31, so I had to investigate a bit.
Rather than return to the main road, I followed the road behind the shrine. I ended up ABOVE the cable car.
There was a helpful woman at the cable car who gave me a map of the paths up the mountain. I remembered I’d taken them both in the past. Turns out she’s the the cable car driver.
I decided to walk up which was supposed to take an hour, and did. I’m not sure how the older ladies (they had at least 10 years on me) made it faster than I did. It was a nasty walk, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
So here’s my lunch, a can of coffee.
And off I go up the road.
The road gets narrower and there’s a gate.
There’s lots of shrines by the side of the road. This must have been the main way up in the past.
There are old, possibly abandoned houses on the road.
The first big shrine was downhill from the road.
To the left of the stairs is an area where people sit underneath the “waterfall” and pray.
Somehow I’m missing a picture of the main shrine, but I have a fuzzy picture of the alcove.
Back up to the road and there’s more shrines.
The higher up the hill, the more abandoned the shrines looked.
On the landing.
A small shrine to the left.
Another shrine to the right, and if you can squeeze through the main gate.
And here’s what appears to be the main shrine.
This is also up those steps.
If you see a rickety looking makeshift bridge and a tiny shrine across a rocky creek, do you go across?
When I say rickety, I mean makeshift and rickety.
Continuing on, I think this is the last temple.
I was wondering about all the white plastic in the creek and it turns out it’s the bags of rocks used to hold up the hillside decomposing.
There’s more of the waterfalls to pray under.
Water from the creek is redirected to make “waterfalls”.
After this the road gets rocky.
And instead of bags of rocks there were cages of rocks.
But there’s still shrines and I wonder if they’re graves.
It gets rocker and steep as heck.
I think this is where I texted my sister and told her I was freezing and still sweating through my shirt and pants.
So close to the top!
It’s steep enough that the house has a tramway to get things down the hill.
At the end of the trail there’s a sign I don’t believe. 1.8km? That’s only 1mi and 626ft. But it was 410m of rise, or 1,345ft up.
Finally, at the top, where there’s a bus stop and a parking lot. This is the path towards Myokensan Temple. Still up.
There’s a little shop right at the bottom of the path up.
Like I said, up.
After this guy, I decided to quit taking pictures of old famous guys I didn’t recognize.
And horses. There were four for some reason.
At this high point is this glass structure. I’m sure there’s some meaning to it.
There’s a clear view of Osaka from the top, even though it was a bit hazy.
I could hear chanting from the temple. Nichiren seems quite popular.
Down past the bell.
There’s a row of temples and rest houses.
This is the temple where they were chanting.
So, after getting a little lost, I thought it was time to find my way to the chairlift and then the ropeway back down. But when I got to the chairlift a guy told me it wasn’t that steep and it was pretty slow. I remember taking it with my ex-fiancée on a date where it started raining. That was a long time ago. Now, I decided just to walk my sad ass down the road by myself.
The road lead to cemeteries and a temple next to them.
And then more cemeteries.
You can see the chair lift and how it doesn’t really go up very fast.
The last bit to the cable car was pretty steep.
If you remember the picture of the cable car, you can see it doesn’t go very far. So I decided I could just walk down. After walking up the hill from the cable car to the chair lift, I decided I couldn’t walk uphill much further and ended up taking the chairlift. It did bring back memories. Like the memory that it was nice being with Yūko, but the chairlift was otherwise pretty boring.
You’ll notice I ended up back at the parking lot. I decided I needed to add to my lunch and had a Coke before I walked down.
I realized that the trip down was steep as hell and I should have just taken the damn cable car.
See this nice paved slope? That doesn’t last for very long.
Another thing I noticed is that the creek bed looks like it would have water the whole way down, but at the top it’s dry. Then there’s a spring. Then it’s dry again. Then there’s a spring. Then you can hear the gentle sound of water trickling down the slope which, if I’ve had a big bottle of Coke, can make me need to use the bathroom.
On the way down I saw a shrine next to a hole in the mountain. I also saw several giant Asian wasps so I didn’t poke my head in the hole.
And I made it down to the bottom of the cable car, and the public toilet. Thank the gods. 61 minutes up and 34 minutes down.
Down the hill and thank goodness I saw a postman and asked him directions. I was about to turn the wrong way down the road.
I wonder if they’re growing a second crop.
And I thought these bloomed in the middle of the summer. They do in the US.
And it’s persimmon season.
I got back on the train and went back to the hotel. I guess I had a Snicker’s bar as a snack. For dinner I decided to go back to the Darimaru building (the South Station Building now) since I won a ¥300 coupon the other night. I’d been thinking of tempura, so I found a ¥2,100 tempura shop.
They bring things out as they’re ready and that’s not a good thing for a guy who went up and down a mountain had such an odd lunch.
Just some sushi.
Then just some shrimp.
Then some fish with miso soup and just a little rice.
Mushrooms and sweet potato.
Chawanmushi (I already ate the shellfish out of it).
Finally, something I can’t remember the name of that wasn’t very good. In fact, the whole experience was so-so. The best part is that I got to try for another prize and this time I got a ¥500 coupon.
Speaking of disappointments, today was the opening of Eki Marché in the JR station closest to the hotel. I stood in line for 20 minutes to get a doughnut. As you can imagine, it would take a lot for a doughnut to be worth a 20 minute wait, and I think I’d rather have had one from Mr. Donut. By the end I thought it was OK, but still, not real sure if I’d wait that long for a matcha doughnut from Chichūjo Doughnuts.
Tomorrow is my last full day in Osaka before I leave for Maebashi. My plans are to do laundry and pack my crap up. It probably won’t take all day but I’m generally boring and I’m not planning on doing much more. Maybe I’ll see some things around the station, but that’s about it.